Sunday, April 19, 2015

Inspiration--A Story A Story

Rainbows over the Highlands.
It’s been several years since I told stories professionally.  Now I tell stories through my blog, through social gatherings, quietly in my head, on pieces of paper that I eventually lose, and sometimes for organizations who want a 30-60 minute speaker.  I like it best when there is an audience; where eyes and hearts will interact with the stories I share, but I beam with joy when someone replies to a blog posting that reached out to them.

        Like storytellers for eons of time, I believe that life’s sorrows, worries, triumphs, and joys can be endured when told in a story.  “Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can’t
Book Dog
remember who we are or why we’re here.”  (Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees.)   Sometimes stories lie way down in my belly and other times they drift through my head like spinning spirally clouds.  It’s when they are not surrounding me that I feel most alone.  That’s when I reflect and turn to a place or time for inspiration.  

I needed to refresh my brain with stories and memories, so I went to my book cup board to search.  Books have always taken me vicariously through life, often giving me new roads to explore.  When the cupboard opened there sat my puppet, Book Dog, cramped in a corner but happy to see me.  I laughed because I was confident that I had not left him there.  What mystery of life had taken a puppet out of bag and set him in front of a door for me to see at this moment?  Ah!, yes, a house full of children one weekend played with the puppets and helped me rearrange the shelves.  The laughter of seeing the puppet, the memories of children’s voices asking for
Jefferson puppeteers
Book Dog, and the stories themselves began to flow easily through my mind’s eye. 

I took a notebook filled with my favorite stories, and headed to the patio to sit in the sun and read.  Inspiration with each story took me back to a time when stories came to life in the eyes of the children surrounding me.  A tear trickled down my face and I smiled.  The children who inspired me to share stories
Prairie Hills Middle School Storytellers
of laughter, of sadness, of courage, and to take those unexpected journeys in life are now grown.  To all of you I say, “Thank you for sharing your enthusiasm of life, your imaginative thoughts, your real life adventures, and for opening your hearts to a well told story.”

A story A story, Let it Come, Let it Go. 

P.S.  After posting this story only 24 hours ago I have been in touch with two of my former students, who were storytellers.  We can't imagine how much difference we make in each others lives by simply sharing a story from the heart.  

*Thank you Cindy Dale for this beautiful photo of the double rainbow over the Highlands.  



  1. Dear Mrs. Watt,
    Memories of our story telling adventures came up while talking to my friend, Tyler Rayl, tonight. I did a quick search for Prairie Hills Middle School and story telling and ran across this post. I am proud to be one of those goofy kids pictured in front of the great ball of twine. You definitely made an impression. We are still talking about it.
    Karen Lechtenberg (Ohmes)

  2. My goodness, I have chills running up and down my spine over the coincidence. I most certainly remember you from PHMS. I had not even planned to write about the storytelling because I'm not telling much these days and I love retirement. Tonight I have a program to give and decided I'd best practice and do some homework. Then one thing led to another and the story just flowed from me. I think of you all often, and tell people about those days.

    I attended Piper Hoskins college grad from Law School and once again she assured me that she'd never forgotten her story. Last night after I saw April Whittington's name I looked her up on facebook, and we chatted for nearly an hour. You each have truly made a difference in my life, and I's so happy to hear from you. I will look for you on facebook.

  3. Oh I can still recite my story word for word..."scritch, scratch, scritch, scratch..." Old Tailypo is a classic. Glad to see you're still telling!

  4. Thank you Karen. You have lifted my spirits, and I'm sure you do for everyone around you. I felt refreshed after my storytelling last evening and even made another connection with a lady next to me, whose mother was a teacher in my school in Norman......stories just keep growing and keep us alive.

  5. Hi, Mrs. Watt! Yes, I was Jamie Harris and your story telling group that I was a part of changed my life and opened me up as a person in middle school. I, to this day, tell my nieces and nephews all about Anansi the spider!!!

  6. We absolutely love reading your stories. I am trying to write a book and I find it extremely difficult. My words or not begging for the next sentence. I shall continue to try. Thank you again for your stories.

  7. O how I remember our Book
    dog days.. Enjoyed them as well as the kiddos..
    Loved the puppets too.
    It seems like yesterday we
    were together in the library. cs

  8. *:) happy a retired teacher...I understand your love of books, stories passed on, and the kids who listen with eagerness. You have such a gift and we are so blessed that you are willing to share it with us.